There are several reasons why Paris Saint-Germain chose to part ways with Mauricio Pochettino. Still, the main reason was the way the team fell apart in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg against Real Madrid.
After scoring the first goal of the second leg against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, PSG held a 2-0 aggregate lead over the Spanish giants. As a result, it looked like the French team would advance to the quarter-finals.
However, that quickly disappeared in the second half of the match when Karim Benzema netted a hat-trick on 20 minutes.
PSG would fall 3-2 as the defeat would be the latest of the Champions League debacles. In an interview with Reportformer coach Mauricio Pochettino expressed his regrets about this second leg.
“You have to put everything into context, how each team got there,” Pochettino said. “After the first game, we all saw that the result was short. In the second leg things happened, an hour of dominance that people thought PSG were going to pass, and because of a foul from Benzema on Donnarumma, that changed and made a swing that gave Madrid confidence .
“A light came on that went out for us, and we couldn’t manage those 20 minutes in which the team felt that goal a lot. It’s difficult to make an analysis of that game, the more serious is that it happened later at Chelsea and City. Bad for many, consolation for fools, but there is something in Madrid, the Bernabéu and its history that makes them believe that things are impossible can be changed.
New manager Christophe Galtier will be under the same microscope in the Champions League. After finishing second in Group H with 14 points, PSG drew Bayern Munich and the French tactician must overcome the German giants or face similar criticism to Pochettino.